The condensed 2013-14 NHL Season has hit the half way mark.
For fantasy leaguers, we will have concluded 70% of our regular season in most formats.
Many leagues have their Trade Deadline tonight or over the next few days.
And you know what that means...It's Business Time.
I know you're "intense."
So, get down to your socks...
Variously owned LWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade: Steve Ott 35%, Brandon Dubinsky 33%, Vaclav Prospal 30%, Brandon Saad 11%, Lars Eller 4%, Bryan Bickell 0.8%, Matt Martin 0.1%.
MacArthur has clearly developed excellent chemistry with Nazem Kadri and the recent return of Matt Frattin boosts what is technically an L3 into a de facto L2 scenario. Over his last 11 games, MacArthur has 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) a dazzling +12 rating, 21 SOGs, and 3 PPPs. His value is strong right now, and it will be even stronger should his PP time improves.
Availability: Owned in 68% of leagues.
Forecast: It is surprising that at such a thin position he is still available in nearly 1/3 of all leagues. Expect to see that number jump in the very near term.
Variously owned Cs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade: Drew Shore 12%, Antoine Vermette 7%, Vladimir Sobotka 1.2%, Marcel Goc 0.6%, Alex Killorn 0.5%, Cody Eakin 0.1%.
Like MacArthur, Henrique is a player that is said to be one rung lower than it actually is. The Kovalchuk line (with Loktionov and Ponikarovsky) is officially L1, but there is more talent on Henrique's line (with Elias and Clarkson). That has translated into increased for him. Over his last 5 games he has 3 goals, a +1 rating, 13 SOGs,4 PIMs, 1PPP, and 2 SHPs.
Availability: Owned in 68% of leagues.
Forecast: Henrique is an attractive addition for at least as long as he's playing with Elias and Clarkson.
Variously owned RWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade: Chris Stewart 82% (still some disbelievers out there?), Justin Williams 68%, Brendan Gallagher 14%, Eric Fehr 7%, Kyle Okposo 4%, Beau Bennett 2% (on the Malkin line--if 71 gets back soon).
O Captain! My Captain! Yes, I have a soft spot for Montreal's captain. I know his production isn't what it used to be, but he's still good value in deeper leagues or in shallower ones as an injury replacement or "swing" pick-up while he's hot--which is now. Over his last 7 games, Gionta has scored 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist), 2 PPPs, 16 SOGs, and 7 Blocks.
Availability: Owned in 16% of leagues.
Forecast: New Head Coach Michel Therrien has done a real nice job installing his system and weaving the younger players into the lineup. Gionta is on L1 with Plekanec and the newly re-acquired Ryder and receives generous PP time. This is definitely a bounce back year. Look for about 30 points on the season--with a high % being goals.
Wiercioch is a prime beneficiary of Karlsson's unfortunate injury. Although he isn't seeing a ton of time at ES, he is playing with Gonchar on the 1st PP unit, and he is cashing in. Over his last 4 games, he has 2 goals (both on the PP) and a healthy 13 SOGs. You won't get much by way of peripherals though--just 3 Hits and 4 Blocks over the same span.
Availability: Owned in 0.3% of leagues.
Forecast: His TOI has been decreasing, so keep an eye on that, but in deep leagues at least for a short-term fill-in, Wiercioch is worth a flyer.
Variously owned Gs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade: Jonas Hiller 74%, Evgeni Nabokov 73%, Jonathan Bernier 23%, Jacob Markstrom 12% (he's the starter), Anton Khudobin 3% (Boston is goalie nirvana), Robin Lehner 3%.
Bobrovsky's ownership numbers are actually down a bit from when we first recommended him at the start of the season. I get that he plays for Columbus and that Columbus isn't very good, but they have a pretty good defence and Bob has some ability. I'm actually more bullish on the former than the latter, and they will be getting team leader and 2-way forward Brandon Dubinsky back soon. It's a better situation for Bobrovsky than most realize.
Availability: Owned in 32% of leagues.
Forecast: He's on one of the hottest streaks of the year. Just this past week, Bobrovsky is 4-0, with a microscopic 0.52 GAA and an otherworldly .981 Save%. Get ‘em while they're hot!
Now check your wire, good luck, and enjoy the games!
* Availability data from ESPN leagues. [Availability in Y! leagues is almost always higher].
* Player analyses and recommendations will now reflect the growing popularity of broader based scoring systems, so we'll be evaluating free agents and trade targets on the following categories: Goals, Assists, Shots on Goal, Special Teams Goals, Hits, Blocks, PIMs and DEF points (for skaters -- for goalies it will still be Wins, GAA, and Save%). Also, like last season, "Free Agents and Trade Targets" will post here every Sunday evening.